Open main menu

John Henry Hoffecker (September 12, 1827 – June 16, 1900) was an American engineer, and politician, from Smyrna in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party, who served as U. S. Representative from Delaware.

John H. Hoffecker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1899 – June 16, 1900
Preceded byL. Irving Handy
Succeeded byWalter O. Hoffecker
Member of the Delaware House of Representatives
In office
January 10, 1889 - January 10, 1891
Personal details
Born(1827-09-12)September 12, 1827
Smyrna, Delaware
DiedJune 16, 1900(1900-06-16) (aged 72)
Smyrna, Delaware
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceSmyrna, Delaware

Early life and familyEdit

Hoffecker was born in Kent County, near Smyrna, Delaware, the son of Joseph and Rachel Van Gasken Hoffecker. He studied civil engineering and entered into that profession in 1853. He married twice, first to Annie E. Appleton, with whom he had four children, Walter, John A., James Edwin, and Annie. He married secondly, Charlotte Jerman, the widow of Joseph H. Hoffecker. She had been a missionary in China from 1875 to 1878.

Political careerEdit

Hoffecker was originally a member of the Whig Party, but like so many others, became a Republican in 1856. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 and 1884. He was also president of the Smyrna town council from 1878 until 1898. Elected to the state house in 1888, he served in the 1889/90 session and was chosen to be the Speaker. He ran for governor in 1896 as the candidate of the Union (Addicks) Republicans and the National Prohibition Party. However, enough votes went to the Regular Republican candidate, John C. Higgins, that the Democrat, Ebe W. Tunnell was elected.

Hoffecker was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1898, defeating incumbent Democratic U.S. Representative L. Irving Handy. He served in the Republican majority in the 56th Congress. During a visit home from the 1900 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Hoffecker suffered a stroke and died. He had served from March 4, 1899, until his death on June 16, 1900, during the administration of U.S. President William McKinley.

Death and legacyEdit

Hoffecker died at Smyrna and is buried there in the Glenwood Cemetery. His son, Walter O. Hoffecker, was elected to finish his term in the United States House of Representatives. His home Ivy Dale Farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.[1]


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly take office the second Tuesday of January. The State House members have a two-year term. U.S. Representatives took office March 4 and also have a two-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
State Representative Legislature Dover January 10, 1889 January 10, 1891 Speaker
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington March 4, 1899 June 16, 1900 died in office
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1899–1901 56th U.S. House Republican William McKinley at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1886 Governor John H. Hoffecker Temperance 7,835 36% Benjamin T. Biggs Democratic 13,942 64%
1896 Governor John H.. Hoffecker Union Republican 11,014 31% Ebe W. Tunnell
John C. Higgins
1898 U.S. Representative John H. Hoffecker Republican 17,566 54% L. Irving Handy Democratic 15,053 46%

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  • Martin, Roger A.. (2003). Delawareans in Congress, the House of Representatives 1789-1900. ISBN 0-924117-26-5.

External linksEdit

Places with informationEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
L. Irving Handy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Walter O. Hoffecker